If you’re considering repainting your kitchen cabinets, you might wonder if you should also paint the inside surfaces of doors, shelves, and drawers.
After all, the inside of the cabinets is visible when the doors are open, so it makes sense that you would want them to look nice as well.
While painting the inside of your kitchen cabinets is a good idea due to the layer of protection added, it rarely does add to the functional value as the inside of cabinets is not always visible.
Plus, it’s challenging and time-consuming to reach and paint the areas after removing the cabinet doors and other hardware.
However, there are a few things to consider before making a final decision.
In this blog post, I will be discussing the pros and cons of painting the inside of kitchen cabinets so you can make an informed decision.
The Pros of Painting the Inside of Kitchen Cabinets
Although time-consuming and sometimes difficult, painting the inside of the kitchen cabinets is worth it because:
1- It Adds an Extra Layer of Protection
Cabinets are constantly exposed to grease, dust, and other debris.
So painting the inside of them creates a barrier that will help to protect the wood.
2- It can Brighten up the Space Inside
A fresh coat of paint can brighten up the inside of your cabinets and make them look newer, even if they’re starting to show some wear and tear on the outside.
If you’re painting your cabinets a new color, painting the inside will also help to create a cohesive look.
3- You can Use Paint to Line the Shelves
One way to make the inside of your cabinets more functional is to use paint to create lines or dividers on the shelves.
This can be especially helpful if you have a lot of small items that tend to get lost in the shuffle.
4- It can Make it Easier to Clean
A fresh coat of paint will also make it easier to wipe down the interiors of your cabinets when they need to be cleaned.
And, if you use semi-gloss or high-gloss paint, the inside of your cabinets will be easier to keep clean in general.
5- You can change the Color if You Want to
If you decide you don’t like the color you’ve painted the inside of your cabinets, it’s easy enough to change it.
Simply repaint them a different color!
The Cons of Painting the Inside of Kitchen Cabinets
While there are some definite advantages to painting the inside of your kitchen cabinets, there are also a few drawbacks to consider, including:
1- It’s Time-Consuming
Painting the inside of kitchen cabinets is a time-consuming task, especially if you have a lot of cabinets.
You’ll need to remove all of the doors and hardware, then clean and prep the surfaces before you can even start painting.
2- It’s Difficult to Reach Some Areas
Depending on the size and layout of your cabinets, it can be difficult to reach some areas when painting the inside.
This means you might have to get creative with how you paint or hire someone to help you.
3- You Might Accidentally Paint the Outside of the Cabinets
When painting the inside of cabinets, there’s always a risk that you’ll accidentally get paint on the outside as well.
To avoid this, be sure to tape off the areas around the doors and handles before you start painting.
4- It’s Not Always Necessary
If your cabinets are in good condition and you’re happy with their appearance, there’s no need to paint the inside.
It’s really only necessary if you’re looking to protect the wood or change the color of the cabinets.
I understand that you are often very busy or painting is not your thing, so here are some alternatives to painting the inside of kitchen cabinets.
Trying these substitutes can help you end up your cabinet refinishing project fast and easy.
1- Use Contact Paper
You can use contact paper to line the shelves of your cabinets and add a pop of color or pattern.
This is an easy way to change up the look of your cabinets without having to paint them.
2- Use Drawer Liners
Drawer liners are another easy way to add color and pattern to the inside of your cabinets.
Plus, they’re functional as well! They’ll help to keep your dishes and silverware in place and make it easier to clean up any spills.
3- Use Cabinet Inserts
If you want to add some extra functionality to your cabinets, consider using cabinet inserts.
There are a variety of inserts available that can help you organize everything from dishes to spices.
4- Use Thin Laminate Sheets
If you want to change the color of your cabinets from the inside but don’t want to paint them, you can use thin laminate sheets.
These colored sheets can be cut to fit the inside of your cabinets and then glued or taped in place.
5- Use Decals
Another way to add some personality to your cabinets without painting them is to use decals.
There are a variety of decals available that can be used inside cabinets. You can find everything from simple shapes to complex designs.
Bonus Tip: Don’t do anything – leave it as it is!
As I mentioned before, if your cabinets are in good condition and you’re happy with the way they look, there’s no need to do anything.
You can simply leave them as they are. Or use very little paint to do some touchups.
Tips and Ideas For Painting The Inside of Kitchen Cabinets
Painting the inside of kitchen cabinets isn’t always essential, but if you choose to do so, it will take a long time,
However, if you know how to do it, it’s not very difficult.
Here is a step-by-step process to get the job done right without consuming much time…
Step 1. Remove all of the doors and hardware from your cabinets. This includes any hinges, handles, or knobs.
Step 2. Clean the surfaces of your cabinets with a degreaser or TSP solution.
This will remove any grease or dirt that could prevent the paint from adhering properly.
Step 3. If necessary, sand the interiors of your cabinets to create a smooth surface for painting.
Also, fill any holes or scratches with wood filler and sand smooth again once dry.
Once your cabinets are prepared, it’s time to start priming and painting!
Step 4. Prime your cabinets with a high-quality primer such as oil-based or shellac primers.
This will help the paint to adhere better and prevent any bleed-through.
Step 5. Paint your cabinets with high-quality paint such as Kilz latex or oil-based.
While latex dries quickly and has lower VOC levels, oil-based paints are more durable and will provide a better finish.
For painting inside the cabinets, you will need to use a small bristle brush for best results.
However, to make the process even fast, you can consider using spray paints such as Rust-Oleum.
Start with the areas that are hardest to reach and then move on to the larger surfaces.
Step 6. Once your paint is dry, reattach all of the doors and hardware.
And that’s it! You’ve now successfully painted the inside of your kitchen cabinets.
TIP: For interiors, you do not need to add any additional coats of paint.
Just remember to take your time and prep the surfaces properly for better paint adhesion.
White and neutral colors are always safe choices when painting the inside of kitchen cabinets.
Neutral tones go well with any type of kitchen decor along with the exterior of the cabinets.
Plus, they will help to brighten up the space and make it feel more spacious.
For the finish, you can choose between a high-gloss, semi-gloss, or even a matte finish.
A high-gloss finish will make the space look more sleek and modern, while a matte finish will give it more of a traditional look.
If you’re not sure what color to paint your cabinets, you can always ask for samples from a local paint store.
This way, you can test out the colors in your kitchen and see how they look before committing to a certain shade.
Do You Need to Paint the Inside Cabinet Doors and Drawers?
No, you don’t necessarily need to paint the inside of cabinet doors and drawers.
If you’re happy with the way they look and they’re in good condition, you can leave them as is.
However, if the wood is bare, I would recommend adding a single coat of primer or paint over it to add a layer of protection.
Also, if you want to change the color or update the look of your kitchen, painting the inside of cabinet doors and drawers is a great way to do so.
Plus, it’s an easy and relatively inexpensive way to give your kitchen a whole new look.
When painting the inside of cabinet doors and drawers, be sure to use a paintbrush or small roller specifically made for painting cabinets. This will help to ensure a smooth and even finish.
So, should you paint the inside of the kitchen cabinets or leave it as it is?
There are a few things to consider before painting the inside of your kitchen cabinets.
These include the amount of time it will take, the difficulty of reaching some areas, and the risk of accidentally painting the outside of the cabinets.
It depends on your personal preference and what you hope to achieve by painting them.
If you’re looking to add an extra layer of protection or change the color of your cabinets, then painting the inside is a good idea.
However, if you’re happy with how they look and don’t want to spend the time or money on painting them, then there’s no need to do so.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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